For decades, running youth sports tryouts involved evaluators standing on sidelines with paper and pencils, scribbling in grades for each player on scoresheets.
This got the job done. But now the evaluation game is changing – for the better. As statistics, player history, evaluations, and real-time results are becoming more in-demand for youth sports, evaluation software – like TeamGenius’ application — has emerged.
Player evaluation software provides the same capabilities the old way of scoring with paper forms did, only it’s instantaneous, more organized, and more accurate. It also offers protection from biases, player feedback reports that can be sent to athletes immediately after tryouts (and throughout the season), and instant access to athlete results in real-time so coaches and directors can speed up the roster-formation process.
With the benefits, the question around evaluation software isn’t “Will it work?”, it becomes “Is it right for my organization?”
The short answer is probably yes. If you have experienced any of the issues listed below or can answer “yes” to the following questions, then player evaluation software might be right for your club.
Does your organization:
- have difficulty managing tryout registrations and player check-ins?
- find errors in score/evaluation sheets?
- struggle to convince parents and players that tryouts are fair?
- make miscalculations compiling and averaging scores?
- spend too much time forming rosters?
- lack ways to create transparency and share results?
- have difficulty managing mid/end of season coaches’ evaluations?
Difficulty Managing Tryout Registrations and Player Check-ins
One of the biggest pain points during player evaluations is registration. Even the most organized club can run into issues with lost registration forms, no-shows, late registrations, and tardy arrivals. This can cause confusion for the staff at the registration table as well as the evaluators who have to account for additional players.
Evaluation software makes those situations non-issues. Players can easily be checked in through the app, creating a quick process. No-shows can be removed, and late arrivals and new registrants can be quickly added and assigned to groups.
Finding Errors in Score/Evaluation Sheets
Most youth sports clubs use multiple evaluators during tryouts. While this is great for keeping evaluations on schedule, it introduces room for error for clubs who use manual evaluations.
An evaluator can accidentally enter a score under the wrong player or use the wrong scoring scale to evaluate the athletes. These are all simple but realistic mistakes that wouldn’t be caught (if they are noticed at all) with paper forms until the numbers are tallied and the rosters are being formed.
Sports evaluation software gives coaches, directors, and other assigned administrators real-time access to player scores. This gives personnel ample time to notice mistakes and get them corrected. Teams can also enter the scoring scale into the system, preventing evaluators from using the wrong methodology.
Struggling to Convince Parents and Players Tryouts are Fair
Running fair tryouts is something all clubs strive for, but unfortunately can’t always be guaranteed. Evaluators might show favoritism towards one athlete over another for various reasons.
There are safeguards teams can put into place when using evaluation software. The application allows teams to list athletes by only their registration number and not their name. This prevents an evaluator from knowing which player they are grading, ensuring scores are based on performance, not name.
Having real-time access to the scores and rankings also allows coaches and directors to monitor player grades. Personnel can investigate if an athlete’s scores look suspicious or if outliers exist which may indicate bias.
Making Miscalculations Compiling and Averaging Scores
When sorting through stacks of paper evaluation forms and manually calculating scores, there are likely to be mistakes. Handwritten grades and comments can be very difficult to read. If someone makes a typo, adds the wrong scores together, or their handwriting is illegible there can be significant errors in athletes’ overall score sheets.
Player evaluation software takes the risk out of this process. The application automatically tallies each player’s score and comments, removing the chance for human error.
Spending Too Much Time Forming Rosters
Another determination for player evaluation software is your roster formation process. Forming rosters can be time-consuming when using paper forms and spreadsheets. Players need to be manually ranked based on scores and only one person can make edits at a time. Drafts and team formations can be prolonged while coaches and directors wait for rankings to be updated and shared. A lot of busy-work needs to take place before an organization can even begin discussing players and their results.
This process is much quicker when using player evaluation software. Player scores and rankings are automatically available in the platform. Multiple people can view the information in the app simultaneously, making the roster formation process fast and easy.
Lacking Ways to Create Transparency and Share Results
When players are scored manually, there is room for players and parents to question roster placements and cuts.
Evaluation software helps eliminate these questions by adding more transparency. Player evaluation reports can be sent directly to each player and their parents after the conclusion of tryouts. This allows each athlete and their family to see the exact scores team administrators used to determine rosters.
Difficulty Managing Mid/End of Season Coaches Evaluations
Trying to get coaches to complete mid- and end-of-season player evaluations on spreadsheets can be a painful process. It’s common for clubs to email evaluation forms to coaches and have very few completed evaluations returned. This leaves players without feedback on their season and without guidance on what to improve on over the offseason. It also means next year’s coaches and directors won’t have an evaluation to refer to when the athletes try out the following season.
Even when coaches do complete evaluations, often they are not completed in a professional format that can be shared with parents and players.
Evaluation software makes this process much more successful, and easier. Organizations can create a survey-like evaluation form and send the link to coaches to complete. The simpler form for coaches enables a much higher return rate. It also allows all evaluations to be completed in a uniform, professional template, making them easy to email to parents and players.